How would it feel if you had to leave your country for seven years in order to make some money for your family? That was the reality for Willfredo, who recently returned to his town of birth, Punata, Cochabamba in Bolivia after living in Spain.
Willfredo left Bolivia with a friend for Spain from his town where he worked hard and lived under miserable circumstances. All the money Willfredo could save went back to Bolivia to support his wife and three children. He admits to liking Europe, saying how impressed he was by the technology used in European dairy farms.
The first step towards making his dream a reality was made possible by credit from Cooperativa Integral de Servicios Cochabamba (CISC). With loans totalling $10,000, Willfredo was able to buy seedlings and a milking machine as well as improve his house and irrigate his land. The area where Willfredo lives is dry and the water from the well needs to be paid for.
It is a modest start: Willfredo has 12 cows producing 90 litres of milk per day and three calves. The crop on his 1.5 ha land is diversified: afalfa, maize and oat to feed his cattle as well as an orchid of peach trees. But he lives there together with his family and is still adapting to life back in Bolivia. His eldest son is working for a telecommunications company, he proudly tells us.
The milk Willfredo produces is bought by the local dairy in Punata which is also owned by the CISC cooperative. Around 15,000 litres of milk is processed every day and a variety of products are produced: UHT milk, yoghurt, cocoa milk etc. Willfredo and a group from the dairy were invited to the Netherlands by Netherlands senior experts (PUM, https://www.pum.nl/). He was very impressed with the dairies in the Netherlands. Willfredo says his dream is to become a successful milk producer in Punata like the Dutch farmers he had met.
Willfedo is only a few years younger than I am, but has more life experience. I wish Willfredo and his family a great future. It is good to know that Oikocredit could contribute to improving his living conditions and his business.
Great update, nice to hear this story. Gracias Ulrich